Louth Councillor reacts to Dundalk attacks: "Thankfully the schools were still off. It could have been so much worse."

Fianna Fáil Cllr. Emma Coffey also commended the Gardai for their handling of the violent attacks

Tia Clarke

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Tia Clarke

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tia.clarke@dundalkdemocrat.ie

iddt 3 Emma Coffey

Louth Fianna Fáil Cllr. Emma Coffey has reacted to the attacks

Louth Fianna Fáil Councillor Emma Coffey says she is thankful that Dundalk schools were still on their holidays yesterday after violent attacks occurred on the Avenue Road, Seatown and the Inner Relief Road. 

Cllr. Coffey told The Dundalk Democrat: "Thank god the schools were still off. The Avenue Road is a very busy area.

The scene on the Avenue Road yesterday morning 

"My own little daughter is in playschool nearby. Usually, there would be kids on bikes and children on the footpaths with their parents coming up along that road at that time [ 9am ]."

"But thankfully, they were off. It could have been so much worse."

The Louth Councillor, whose family home in just minutes from where the 24-year-old Japanese man Yosuke Sasaki was brutally stabbed, also told how locals are still "in a state of shock". 

She said: "People are still in a state of shock and are asking how and why this attack happened.

"Obviously, my sympathies are with the poor young deceased man who was walking to work, just going about his business when he was attacked, and the two Irish victims too.”

The Louth Councillor continued: “It's the randomness of it that's frightening. Areas like the Avenue Road would be a quiet enough residential area. And then the Coe's Road is more of a commercial area.

"It was the time of day and the time of year too. You don't expect violent incidents to happen so early in the morning. It just makes you think it could happen anywhere."

The Louth Councillor said that people should think of the victim's family in Japan and the terrible news they would be receiving: “We have to think of the victim's [Yosuke Sasaki] poor family and the terrible news they're going to get.”

Ms. Coffey also said that whilst the mood in Dundalk was still one of shock, many people a lot of questions. 

"People have a lot of questions surrounding the attacker, such as how did he get into Ireland? Where are his family? 

“It is worrying that authorities can't identify how the man got into Ireland. 

“But people shouldn't make assumptions about this case. We should all be cautious and just let the Gardai do their job.”

"I think the local Gardai are launching a very well-coordinated investigation. Hopefully, it will come to a speedy conclusion. But of course, that's no comfort to the family of the man who was killed." 

The Fianna Fáil Councillor also commended Dundalk gardai for their quick response time and handling of the situation. 

She said: "Driving around town this morning, there was a very strong Garda presence. I really have to commend the Gardai.

"Within 45 minutes of yesterday attacks, the gardai had tackled and disarmed him. The way they handled the situation is a testament to their work.

“You hear a lot of negativity about the gardai, but they were on the ball yesterday. Even the fact that they held the press conference so early into the investigation yesterday, I think they are giving out as much information as they can to the public and are being very respectful to the victim's family.”

The Louth Councillor concluded saying: "I would encourage any members of the public to get in touch with the gardai if they've seen anything.”

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to contact Dundalk Garda station on 042 938 8400, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.